Valentine’s Day is for suckers…
At least that’s what the majority of the stories in this anthology relate to. In the first story, “Heart’s Pride” by Ally Shields, we meet a cat shifter with a few unwanted beaus that turn from rowdy drunks to kidnapping slavers. Katrina is searching for her lost mate and is derailed from her mission, only to find hope in the darkest places. Great tension, strong characters and I was sad when this story was over.
In the second story “Lost Soul, Lost Love” we meet a new Reaper getting her education about the other side of the proverbial fence. She meets a lost soul who won’t give up the ghost of his former life and has to decide if tangling with her mentor Sam or Death is worth the education. Great story. It made me want to read the rest. The telepathic link from Sam to the new reaper was fun and awkward all at the same time.
The third piece “Red Dogs” by Keith Melton was more militaristic than some of the other stories. An unpleasant surprise awaits a team of elite fighters when their mission to contain a disturbance at an antique shop goes horribly wrong. Mistaken identities, spiritual warfare and a sexy dinner out might be just the thing to get this Valentine’s Day heated up.
The last story is “The Necro-Files: V-Day” by C.L. Bledsoe. I love this series and this story was a fun addition. It lends itself to a common problem at frat parties. What do you do when someone spikes the punch and if a succubus with insane lusty powers drinks it, how many men do you think will still be standing? This was a hilarious car humping story that had me snorting through my nose more than once.
All of these stories had a unique view on Valentine’s Day foibles and just how much of a trial it can be. From outdated ghostly love to a doppelganger style manifestation to lusty punch and kitty shifters, this was a blast to read and I am going to go back and check out the authors I haven’t read before. Fans of the Anita Blake books, Kim Harrison and Charlaine Harris will love these authors.
If you want some short reads that are urban fantasy style romance with snark, these are for you.
Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short Reviews. It has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.